Well this is dark and pessimistic! Not a lot of happiness going on here. A snapshot of the world we currently live in. Suffice to say though, filled to the brim with the usual Olivetti soundscapes that we’ve all come to expect. Bravo!
You know, this could be my favourite.
First listen of Zeitgeist: Conny Olivetti’s latest offering. A dark, unsettling, atmospheric piece. Compelling listening. Not sure which sample was more unsettling, Donald J Trump or the crackling Geiger counter…..
Carol Diggle Really enjoying this!
A more minimal Olivetti in evidence here.
It has many of his usual trademarks – some nice apposite samples and a dystopian vision most notably – but is somewhat sparser in feel than some of his more recent releases.
No fat analogue sounds here. This is a brittle, digital sounding record with all the warmth in it coming from Alec Guinness’ 1960 spoken word Christian Poetry and Prose anthology and from the lovely singing of Linnea on A Place in Time.
It’s an unsettling record. But one that is more likeable than the frankly disturbing Impulsive Thrust. Looking forward to another listen on my journey to work tomorrow.
There is indeed a religious theme here. The opening track ‘The Kola Borehole’ is a slow burner and one of his best.
The use of samples work well, although I think they are over dominant and not as subtle as on previous albums.
The cover as ever is wonderful and could be a Joy Division cover (and that’s a compliment).
Stripped back electronic music indeed.
File under atheist rock??!!
Jaak T Arendi
It’s a wee bit darker than usual, but the atmosphere and harmonics are there!
I think this will be my commuting album for a while as it really “accelerates
visions and dreams! 😀
So I’ll give it a 5 out of 5! 😀
I won’t comment on individual tracks as usual as I like to think of the album as a continuous movement, where all tracks have there place in the direction we are shown. 🙂
The album recovers from that though and a marvellous vocal by Linnea in A Place in Time and the last track A Better Tomorrow are excellent.
I’ve had the pleasure of living with this for a few weeks. It’s quite a departure for the maestro, occupying a less rhythm oriented approach than his usual impeccable electro-pop, utilising textures, found sound and samples to great affect. The album plays as a whole and not to be skipped, a dystopian disused warehouse or factory on the edge of a futuristic metropolis. The one quantifiable song (“A Place In Time”) sounds like a lament for a lost civilisation caught on a transistor radio.
Excellent work sir.
Fredrik Karl Anders Jonasson
Har lyssnat på denna i en vecka och är rätt golvad. Sjukt bra. Instrumental elektronisk musik av toppklass.
Maarten van Valen
This probably is Conny’s most accomplished and best sequenced album of his vast output- with a darkened heart at its centre, it’s sublimely layered doom-atmosphere is being punctured by excellent voice samples, industrial sounds and the occasional hit single… culminating in a terrifyingly effective warning on A Better Tomorrow where the overload of synths perfectly illustrates the loads of radioactive garbage finding its way into our seas….leaving you with a spine tingling warning. As engrossing as it is informative, Zeitgeist is another jewel in the crown which surely must get uncomfortably heavy to wear given the high prolificacy of the man…
A Review Of Sorts
“This is cheerful” said my 17 year old daughter as track 4, wherein someone talks about death, played in the car on the way to school. “You’re lucky you missed track 3” I said, “…it features Donald Trump reading a story… quite why he was I don’t know, but it’s incredibly unsettling”… Conversation moved onto other topics whilst this soundtrack for a dystopian future (or has it arrived?) played on chillingly, I swear lowering the ambient temperature in the car.
I’ve played it about three times now and definitely prefer it to its predecessor. The overlaying of clips and nightmare voices is very impressively done, happily after a few tracks of doom an excellent song arrives to lift the mood. Before we are again plunged back into the real world and before we know it Track 1 is playing again. The world is in a terrible state. This CD is our soundtrack.
I wanted to find a way of writing about this LP that could explain it in a new way and give Conny some food for thought. Conny has form for making disturbing soundscapes and also more conventional electronic motorik influenced music. It happened by accident. I fell asleep listening to a collection of Popol Vuh tracks on shuffle and in my half-awake / half-dream state I realised that Conny’s release is sort of an anti-Popol Vuh. It’s electronic not acoustic and unsettling rather than comforting. But like all opposites, they’re tied together too. Conny and Popol Vuh create moods with extended soundscapes that rely on fragmentary repetitious music. These mood pieces draw the listener in and, once there there’s a depth that might be missed by a casual listener – especially if listening on headphones or loudly on a good system). I think that the ‘subject matter’ for want of a better phrase is similar to. Popol Vuh’s music is often related to a post-religious age, but retaining a belief/faith in what gets called ‘spirituality’. Conny’s is also post-religious but lacking the succour of such platitudes. It might be considered an existential take on the ground laid out by Popol Vuh…
I like it.
As always, well worth your time.
Only listened to the first track so far before heading to bed but was hugely impressed as it builds nicely from the atmospheric opening adding lots of details but maintaining a sense of space. The use of rumbling timpani was very effective and as the snare kicks in in moves up a gear to a satisfying finish. Excellent. Looking forward to immersing myself in the rest.
On my first hearing of this album the word ruminative came to mind. Zeitgeist certainly does make you engage in deep thought.
You can hear a similarity between Conny’s music on this album and that of the German psychedelic, new-age and ambient band Popul Vuh. The added sounds of a Gregorian chants and choirs reinforce this comparison. The opener The Kola Borehole and other tracks, could be taken from the soundtrack of an ominous and dystopian sci-fi movie. The poems read by Alec Guinness add to the palpable sense of unease.
Conny has not abandoned the theme of global politics and particularly the existential threat posed to the world and all human life by the Trump administration, both in the denial of climate change and the deliberate ramping up of nuclear tensions. Zeitgeist captures this dark backdrop perfectly. The setting of Trump reading a children’s story about a woman and a snake is chilling.
In summation, Zeitgeist is the music of deep thought in dark times.
Conny Olivetti – Zeitgeist. It needs a couple more plays before I comment on the music but doesn’t it SOUND good.
As I’ve previously explained to Conny I’ve been put off returning to Zeitgeist by the presence of a certain racist misogynist climate-change-denying bullying lying tweeter of inanities reciting one of my least favourite songs and it’s difficult for me to listen to him, or it, without wanting to break things. However I shouldn’t allow said tiny-handed odious shitgibbon to get between me and the good things in life, and Conny’s music is certainly one of those, so I’m playing it again now but skipping that track.
My first impression of Zeitgeist is how marvellous it sounds and how well-balanced and vivid the soundscape is. Presented with the album for one of his remix projects Steven Wilson would have to admit that there’s nothing he could do to improve it. If Conny ever gets tired of creating his own music there’s surely a job for him in producing or sound engineering.
Moving onto the music, after a couple of more upbeat recordings this is Conny moving back into bleaker territory. The music isn’t exactly depressing but it does feel distant and cold. I imagine wandering through an abandoned oil refinery, covered in snow but with the rust and decay still evident. We might not be post-apocalypse but the good times have certainly left wherever it is we are. At least there are seagulls for company, and Alec Guinness pops up occasionally to intone sombrely.
And then we get to A Place In Time, the “pop” moment on the album and possibly explaining where we’ve been until now, not a refinery after all but a graveyard and actually quite a nice place to be. It’s not Conny’s usual fare but I really like this song and I like Linnea’s voice too.
I’m feeling quite cheerful now and ready for A Better Tomorrow, will we get one? Ah, apparently not, we’re all doomed from radiation poisoning. Oh well, it’s stirring stuff to go out on and at least it gets us away from the orange fuckwit. Until he butts in to explain to us what uranium is, aaaaaaagh!!!! I’m going back to the graveyard.
The Snake. Wonderful
What a wonderfully dark, at times, disturbing journey from the prolific Conny Olivetti. While there is still a slight Kraftwerk feel here, “Zeitgeist” brings forth an almost ominous feel from start to finish. Influences from early Dead Can Dance and In The Nursery are evident,with a dash of Dome at times. At least to my ears. Samples from Alec Guinness to Donald Trump invade your ears accompanied by gloriously dark atmospheres. This is by far the most searingly atmospheric release from Conny Olivetti. The closest you’ll get to a pulsing, rhythmic song is “A Place In Time.” Beautiful female vocals provided by Lennea (apologies if spelling is incorrect). What an amazing release.